NYC’s paramedics and EMTs ‘continually short-staffed’ as emergency call response times grow longer

It’s been a little over 25 years since the workers staffing city-run ambulances were merged into the FDNY, but pay and benefits for EMS workers — who, as a group, are far less white and male than firefighters — continue to lag behind.

The City Council has recently prioritized the issue, passing a pay parity resolution in May 2020. And after a significant pay bump last year under former Mayor Bill de Blasio, the starting salary for an EMT is now $39,386, up from $35,254. But starting pay for a firefighter is $43,904.

After five years, EMTs earn $59,534, compared with $85,292 for a firefighter with the same amount of experience.

Paramedics, who require more training, start out earning $53,891 — more than the starting salary for a firefighter – but after a few years, they fall behind, with a base salary of $75,872 after five years on the job.

Firefighters also get certain perks when it comes to benefits, such as more time off and lifelong medical coverage for themselves and their families.

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